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22 March 2011 @ 12:02 pm
(Internet conked out last night so I'm posting this entry this morning. C: )

[Day before] Yesterday, when I was thinking about streets and sides and waiting, I also considered what my big problem with school is. My big problem with school is perspective.

When I am at my sanest (which is surprisingly often when I am away from school), I am incredibly trusting of my perspective - I have been since I realised that it was a little unique but worked anyway. Few things rock my boat, so to say (even if I whinge here from time to time). I've kept perspective through many things and through many times that were admittedly difficult.

With school, I do not keep my sense of perspective - possibly because the insanity from those harder times were channeled into school, to keep some semblance of composure in my life that then ironically took control of me. Regardless, Perspective of The Big Picture is what doesn't work in the silly little equation of Kiwi + school = life.

The happy news is that today I felt the delightfully tingling sense alerting me to the return of my perspective. I felt it during my meeting with Nick-the-supervisor. He seems incredibly pleased with my shy-of-full draft and didn't even recall that he had wanted to see it again - indeed, he said he felt he didn't need to see it again, but we agreed in the end I'll send it Tues night/Weds morning anyway with a list of changes as I always do. For the first time I got the feeling that what I have left to do is something I'm very capable of doing. We laughed. He commented on the fact that I included the perceived (there it is again) "chasm" between the sciences and the arts/humanities - it is a great interest of mine.

Apparently it is a great interest of his as well, for he gave me a book of his works published in 2004 relating to botany/plants, the communication of science and the requirement for scientists to be more aware of and write more about the real meaning behind what they do/discover. A way to bridge the gap and get people interested again. I love the end of his preface: "Finally, it is really inaccurate to portray these Thirteen Seasonal Pieces as motivated by a straightforward agenda concerning science communication. They are primarily a collection of beautiful things, in praise of a remarkable world that slips all the time through an individual's fingers. Only through culture can we conserve it."

He repeated a number of times that this wasn't for my dissertation, it was just if I wanted to read through, and only if I ever have the time in combination with the desire to read through it. Just something he was giving me. He kept smiling in a way I could only characterise as at least partially shy and I realised he was really sharing something with me, something of himself, something more than what a supervisor needed to share; he was sharing an interest because he saw it reflected in me. (Now, Nick has been above and beyond what a supervisor Needs To Be anyway, but this was a rainbow arch beyond even that.) It was an amazing moment. I am flattered and grateful and love the gift; I will be sure to express this!

It just Clicked during the meeting that I am profoundly lucky to have made it here, where perhaps it is not perfect but very right. I'm not sure how I made it from being a high school girl in a difficult situation and reading about Rachel Carson to being a university young woman in this place and ending up with moments like these. When I walked back to the Hub I bought a pasty, some supplies and a milkshake, then tottered (my happy sway-walk) over to the tree by Whiteknights Lake and had a gleeful picnic by myself. I thought about how big the field was to an ant and how small the trees would be to a giraffe, all the while enjoying the sun and the sounds of Zoë Lewis around my neck. Caught up with a friend on my way home and came home to take a nap with the windows open, light and breeze streaming in. I love spring naps.

Worked for a while. Mark came in to work too. Skyped with Mum and tattooedsappho for a while, then just Sapph. We joked about ridiculous things; she concluded that McGonagall as a young woman in her 20s in this time would wear a tartan tank top (I reported she would at least enjoy saying that), stone-washed skinny jeans and tartan/plaid Converse shoes. I approved this provided there was also a dragonhide jacket involved. I think this all stemmed from the work bun I had my hair in (high so I can lean back on pillows) and the new sunglasses I have (which are rather little and square, but orange - perspective!). We considered most of the older HP characters and what their stereotypes would be.

Now I have five candles lit around my room and the lights are out. Mark at last left and I masked the boy smell with incense; my room smells lovely now, of strawberries and cucumber melon and something else. The flickering candlelight does endless good for me. Always reminds me of the song "This Little Light of Mine," which I sing fairly often. It feels nice to connect light and warmth together again, see it pinpointed in the same locations. I'm sure I'm just rambling now but it's partially out of surprise, because I never expected to feel this serene right now.

I've only scanned through Nick's collection (I've never actually held a journal before and it feels so new) but what I've read has been lovely. It's from the Journal of Experimental Botany, Plant Culture. Thirteen Seasonal Pieces by N. H. Battey. I found some links through Google Scholar that seem free (since I'm not attached to Uni Reading right now), so I'll put them up:



Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
[Rachel Carson]
Current Mood: peacefulPeaceful.
minervas_eule: MHIU talkminervas_eule on March 22nd, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
I am so happy for you that you had a spring day filled with such beautiful moments! You really seem very lucky with your supervisor; I just read the "September" chapter, but I will read more, as plant biochemistry had been the field of research I did my final paper on (working in the Institute of Botany in the Botanical Gardens ♥): it is very interesting in its way of bringing together so many different things.
Kiwi Crocus: Monty Python || Science!cranky__crocus on April 2nd, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
I was absolutely lucky with my supervisor! Which reminds me that I need to email a colleague of his to see what sort of gift I should get him; I'd really like to get my supervisor a gift for all his excellent help! Oooh, Institute of Botany in the Botanical Gardens! That sounds delightful!

I do love what I've read of Nick's work so far; I love the bringing together of so many different things. I think science needs more of that sometimes! Perhaps not in the cut-and-dry peer-reviewed science-paper-publications, but in the sort of stuff that gets out to non-scientists!
redbeargrlredbeargrl on March 22nd, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
I thought about how big the field was to an ant and how small the trees would be to a giraffe, all the while enjoying the sun and the sounds of Zoë Lewis around my neck.
In spite of all of your final year stress at uni, and everything else going on in your life...this is how I always want to think of you. A beautiful and brilliant young woman who takes the time to think about ants and giraffes during her most stressful year!
Kiwi Crocus: Text || Beautiful things like you.cranky__crocus on April 2nd, 2011 04:35 am (UTC)
Awwwr, *blushes*, you are too kind! I think I would have to seriously reconsider my life if it ever didn't contain enough time for thoughts of ants and giraffes! My mind needs its room to roam as much as my legs, eh? :Þ

Thank you for this comment! I recalled it a few times during my harder moments and it really helped!
gerristgerrist on March 23rd, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Yeah for peaceful, even for just a little while : )